Why Arsenal should make a move for Robert Arboleda in January
According to a report from Football London, Arsenal had made an approach for Sao Paulo defender Robert Arboleda during the closing days of the summer transfer window. The transfer failed to materialise, although the report claims that Sao Paulo are still open to selling the 27-year-old in the near future.
The Gunners made some high-profile additions during the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe. They also signed William Saliba but the teenage French defender has returned back on a season-long loan to Saint-Etienne.
Unai Emery’s men have made a solid start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, winning the first two games against Newcastle United and Burnley. However, Emery’s side had a tough time dealing with Burnley’s physical forwards—Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. Wood and Barnes proved to be a particular handful and their direct and physical approach caused problems all day long for the Arsenal defenders.
Despite acquiring the services of David Luiz, the Gunners haven’t looked the most convincing at the back which should be a worry for Emery. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is in his 30s, while it is a make or break season for Calum Chambers makes at the Emirates.
As far as Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos and new boy Kieran Tierney are concerned, the trio are currently out injured and it remains to be seen when they return to the squad.
It is never wrong for a manager to sign a defender when his team are struggling at the back. Even if the new season is just two games old, one can predict the Gunners having a tough time again if they don’t sort out their defensive conundrum.
As Robert Arboleda is still for ‘sale’, so perhaps Arsenal should go back for the Ecuadorian defender during the January transfer window.
Arboleda, 27, has been a consistent defender for Sao Paulo ever since joining from Universidad Católica in 2017. The Serie A in Brazil has started and he has already made seven appearances for his club.
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Standing at 6ft 2in tall, the Ecuador international is a powerhouse inside his own box and can lead his backline with authority and conviction.
He is very strong in the air at both ends of the pitch and can make some vital interceptions for his team. Arboleda is decent with the ball at his feet and that should make him a good fit in Emery’s system at Arsenal.
It seems like Arsenal might get another chance to have a go at Arboleda in January. The Gunners can have the most robust defence in the Premier League if they can integrate the Ecuadorian with Sokratis and Luiz in the three-man backline.